News and Opinion from Anne Barone to Keep You Chic & Slim

|| 10 October 2019

Theanine in Tea: Your Benefits

I was misinformed. In pre-Internet days, in some tea book or another, I read that in tea — good old Camellia sinensis I love so well — the stimulative ingredient was theanine. Not caffeine. That was not exactly correct.

Tea does have caffeine — unless you are drinking decaffeinated tea. But tea ALSO has theanine — and two other stimulative substances: theophylline and theobromine. All four provide tea with nice benefits beyond taste.

Miles West Country Tea package and cup of brewed tea

image: a cup of really nice tea blended on the West Coast of England in the town of Porlock

Theanine is receiving attention recently. Supplements of theanine are now being sold — with the usual (perhaps exaggerated) claims of health benefits. Among them: reducing stress and improving sleep.

Most of the theanine supplements currently marketed are reportedly synthetically produced. If you want to get your theanine from your tea, how much tea do you have to drink?

Researchers in the UK tested popular commercially available teas and reported in Food Chemistry:

HPLC along with a standard method of preparing tea was employed here to determine amounts of l-theanine in cups of tea and the effects that various preparation factors have on amounts of l-theanine extracted.

Brewing time was found to be a major determinant of the amount of l-theanine extracted, while the addition of small amounts of milk and sugar made no significant difference. High levels of milk resulted in a marked lowering of the level of detectable l-theanine.

Contrary to previous research, a standard (200 ml /6.7 oz) cup of black tea was found to contain the most l-theanine (24.2 ± 5.7 mg) while a cup of green tea contained the least (7.9 ± 3.8 mg).

What exactly are theanine, theophylline and theobromine and what benefits do they give to a tea drinker?

You can learn more about these stimulants in tea in an article titled 4 Stimulants in Tea – More Than Just Caffeine.

This article provides a concise explanation of the four stimulants and what effects they have on brain and body. The article also analyzes the differences in the effects of the stimulants in tea and coffee.

4 Stimulants in TeaMore Than Just Caffeine on Healthline

be chic, stay slimAnne Barone